Much more bear-able

Ali Barkley, Tanunda Medical Centre Registered Nurse accepts six trauma bears from Nuriootpa’s Judith Rogers, Angaston Red Cross.

A chance encounter in the waiting room of Tanunda Medical Centre has inspired Judith Rogers, of Nuriootpa to get out the knitting needles and make things more bearable for little patients.

The 78 year old happened to hear the sobs of a frightened young child and witnessed how a simple act of kindness changed everything.

“About a month a go I was down at the clinic, just waiting for my appointment. There was a little girl, about four years old, ready to have a blood test and she screamed the place down – the poor little thing!

“Then, all of a sudden things went quiet and out she came – someone had given her a little toy. As she walked out, I said you were very brave weren’t you? And she said ‘I got a toy!’ that’s all she was interested
in, the tears had gone.”

Seeing the positive impact the toy had made, Judith knew exactly what to do.

“So, I thought I’ve made fifty trauma bears for Red Cross’ head office so far and I would make some for the clinic too.

“I got permission through our branch to donate them, and I have six ready to deliver.”

Some are wearing classic red and black to reflect the organisation they represent, others have different coloured clothing. Each one has a different facial expression which Judith goes to great pains to

“That’s what I enjoy doing, it’s good fun!” she said.

Ali Barkley, Registered Nurse at the Tanunda Medical Centre, was grateful to receive the cuddly little characters last Thursday, ready to pacify the clinic’s littlest patients.

“They come in very handy for children when they are a little bit distressed with their childhood immunisations or if they are feeling really unwell and we have to do a specific  procedure,” Ali told The Leader.

“The teddies really help to distract them and it’s a little take home and remembrance of when they did something well for their health and managed.”

Ali and the Tanunda Medical Centre staff are grateful to everyone who continues to donate toys for children in the region.

“Judith is one of many ladies who are patients at Tanunda Medical Centre that make teddies. They just drop them in periodically and we are very appreciative – they are a great asset.”

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